Kelli Tennant made her first public feedback about her lawsuit against Sacramento Kings coach Luke Walton throughout a information convention on Tuesday.
The previous Spectrum SportsNet reporter claimed Walton sexually assaulted her in a lodge room in late 2014 whereas he was an assistant with the Warriors.
“I used to be scared,” Tennant mentioned through the information convention. “When somebody assaults you and also you assume you are going to be raped, coming ahead is a scary factor. I’ve spent years now coping with it, attempting to overlook about it, hoping that I can push it to the aspect and hoping that point would heal. And that was not the case. Over this time, I used to be in a position to muster up the braveness and have conversations with (lawyer Garo Mardirossian) the place I felt snug speaking about this.”
Tennant mentioned she met Walton and his spouse 10 years in the past at a volleyball match. In 2013, whereas Tennant was overlaying the Lakers and Walton was working as an NBA analyst, she mentioned she requested him to jot down a foreword for her e-book, to which he agreed.
After the e-book was printed in 2014, Tennant mentioned she organized a gathering with Walton to present him a replica of it whereas he was within the Los Angeles space with the Warriors.
I ended by his lodge and I had the e-book wrapped, in gift-wrapping. And as I pulled as much as the lodge he waited for me exterior. I acquired out and handed him the e-book and we hugged and he was so enthusiastic about it and was so completely satisfied to see me and requested me to park my automobile throughout the road as a result of we hadn’t seen one another in fairly some time, he wished to catch up, and listen to how issues had been going with the e-book. I agreed.
I parked my automobile throughout the road and as I walked into the lodge with him I anticipated us strolling into the foyer, the place we might hang around and catch up. And he began to stroll in the direction of the elevators, and I requested him the place we had been going and he mentioned as much as his room. And I requested him why we had been going as much as his room, and he mentioned as a result of the gamers on his staff had been within the foyer and he couldn’t be round them. He did not wish to be seen within the foyer with the gamers. So I used to be hesitant, and he mentioned, “Don’t be concerned about it, it is me.” And as somebody that I trusted for a very long time, I noticed I should not overthink it, and comply with his lead. I walked as much as the lodge with him and continued to inform myself to not overthink it and that I might belief him.
Out of nowhere he acquired on prime of me and pinned me right down to the mattress, and held my arms down with all of his weight whereas he kissed my neck and my face and my chest. And as I stored asking him to please cease and to get off, he laughed at me. I continued to ask him to cease time and again, with none use of my arms, as a result of he continued to carry me down. I might really feel him rubbing his erection on me, and he continued to giggle in any respect of my pleas to get off and to cease. I assumed he was going to rape me.
Tennant mentioned she was in a position to stand up off of the mattress and tried to go away the room, however Walton grabbed her from behind and held her arms to her physique and continued kissing her neck.
“I stored begging him to please let go and to please cease and he continued to giggle in my ear,” Tennant mentioned. “He lastly let go and I acquired out of the room.”
Tennant mentioned she was grateful Walton was not in Los Angeles so she would not should work together with him afterward, however that modified in 2016 when Walton was named head coach of the Lakers.
She mentioned she on the board for a charity in 2016 and it was her job to get Walton because the visitor honoree for an occasion.
“When he confirmed up for the occasion, I walked out to the automobile to point out him the place to park,” mentioned Tennant. “As quickly as I walked as much as the driving force’s aspect window, he seemed me up and down slowly, saying ‘Mmm, you are killing me in that gown.'”
Tennant mentioned every time she noticed Walton at Lakers practices and video games he at all times hugged her and kissed her on the cheek.
“I pretended to be utterly regular this whole time and I felt like I had nowhere to show,” Tennant mentioned.
Walton parted methods with the Lakers on April 12. He was employed days later by the Kings.
Walton has employed outstanding lawyer Mark Baute – who defended Derrick Rose as he confronted rape allegations in 2016 – to signify him.
Luke Walton’s lawyer Mark Baute not solely represented Derrick Rose throughout his rape allegation trial, but additionally former 49er Jarryd Hayne, who has additionally been accused of rape. Hayne’s US trial is about to start in January of 2020
– Sean Cunningham (@SeanCunningham) April 23, 2019
Baute issued an announcement on Monday, claiming Tennant to be “an opportunist, not a sufferer,” calling her accusations “baseless.”